..(Positioning Yourself in Your Job Search)

That hypercriti
cal voice inside your head, you know, the one that says, "they would never hire someone like me," because you are too this or not enough that, is the voice of sabotage. And as long as you converse about your job search with that whiny, inner voice, you risk sabotaging yourself and making that inner voice a self-fulfilling prophecy!

So often we sabotage our job searches by deciding not just that our negative self-assessments are true, but that they are somehow self-evident to the people without whom no job search is possible, that is, prospective employers and leads. The fact that we haven't actually met these people somehow gets lost, and we eliminate these folks from our "to do" list, because after all, what's the point? And voila, that great job didn't go to you or someone like you, just as that inner voice of doom predicted. Of course, you and others who approached things the same way didn't give yourselves the chance to be hired, but that's the nature of sabotage. Does it have to be this way?

Well, no. Rather than dropping out of the "game," identify the concerns of your critical inner voice. Are there reasons why you might not be perceived as the best candidate for the job you want? Is your inner voice trying to show you how to make yourself a better candidate? Don't succumb to negativity, run toward the opportunity to make yourself a stronger candidate! Do your homework about the job you want, revise your resume to reflect your aspirations and strategically position yourself to be the best candidate. If you need to, volunteer to gain hands on experience, attend courses, write articles, read trade journals, or become an expert. Just start doing it. It's easier than you think, and it's a lot more effective than going through the motions of a job search, when there's sabotage going on in your head.

Adopting and nurturing a positive attitude in the job search process is critical to your success. Your inner voice can and should work for you. Once you learn what to listen for, that inner voice can help you anticipate the barriers that lie between you and the job you want. By anticipating the barriers, you can overcome them and become a great fit for a great job!

Alexandra Duran wrote this article for Hotjobs.com - a job portal site - in June 2000.

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